How to make an early offer on a home this autumn

Image: Sydney houses near the harbour
Getty: Sydney houses near the harbour

Domain’s latest home auction report suggests there’s positive momentum before the usually busy autumn selling season, driven by growing seller confidence.

Auction clearance rates across the capitals increased annually by 1.3 percentage points in February, the report showed. Similarly, the combined regional clearance rate is up over the month and is high compared to its historical performance. 

However, it’s hard to say emphatically whether or not buyer confidence has returned, especially where median home prices remain very high (and home loans large).

Sydney’s median home price is $1.6m according to Domain.

In Melbourne it’s closer to $1m.

Both are hefty price tags compared to say, Brisbane, Hobart, Darwin, Perth or Adelaide. 

More home buying but what does that mean for your city?

How you look at the auction market is really a matter of perspective because while a busier auction scene may have more homes on offer, it might also include many more prospective buyers. More bidders will surely see prices escalate!

So, you see, broad optimism about clearance rates can be tricky.

Domain’s chief of research and economics, Dr Nicola Powell offers a balanced view. She says there is historically a seasonal uptick early in the year resulting in higher clearance rates - but it’s early days. 

“While it's too early to determine the strength of the auction market in 2024, this positive trend sets a promising tone for the upcoming autumn selling season,” says Powell.

It’s also important to realise that each city’s auction market needs to be assessed on its own merit. The main reason for this is that lower property supply levels in certain cities and in certain suburbs will likely have bigger crowds - there’s just less on offer for these buyers and fewer auctions to attend. 

Of course, the opposite is true. Where there’s a greater level of housing stock available, there’s a better chance for a potential buyer to make an offer within their budget. 

Put auction results into perspective

So while Sydney’s clearance rate rose to a 7-month high and is above 65% for the first time in three months, Domain also reported that 34% of homes advertised for auction in February were sold prior to going under the hammer.  

And while Melbourne’s clearance rate is above 60% for the first time since October 2023, 18% of its homes at auction in February sold prior to the event.

There can be varied reasons for homes being sold prior to auction, though it typically means that buyers were in a position to take a chance and make an offer ahead of time that was acceptable to the vendor.

How to make an early offer on a home

What we might take away from this is that while weekend auctions have improved in early 2024, and there certainly are some high prices, there may just be a window here for those buyers on a smaller budget to make their move. 

But a few factors will have to fall into place for you as the would-be buyer.

For example:

  • Your suburb of choice has a good supply of homes on offer that disperses the buying crowd.
  • Cashed-up investors sit out on the homes you’re targeting. 
  • You need to know the agent’s process for pre-auction offers. 

Remember, agents are obliged to bring all offers to their client.

And even when a vendor is tempted to accept, other serious buyers may be given the opportunity to compete. This can complicate your strategy but sticking to your plan and your budget is important. 

If you're ready to take the next step and buy a home, our comparison of the top home loans on the market can help. Below you can start your journey simply by comparing some of the best home loans around.

Home loan comparisons on Mozo

Mozo may receive payment if you click the products below. We don’t compare the entire market, but you can search our database of 473 home loans.
Last updated 15 June 2024 Important disclosures and comparison rate warning*
  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Unloan Variable

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    5.90 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    Built by CommBank, the Unloan is the first home loan with an increasing discount (conditions apply) for borrowers. No application or banking fees. No monthly account keeping or early exit fees. Apply online in minutes.

  • Discount Variable Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    5.99 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.01 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $2,995
    Go to site

    A low rate home loan for owner-occupiers packed with great features including unlimited extra repayments, free online redraw, no application or monthly admin fees. Rate will vary depending on LVR. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Low Cost Home Loan Award^

  • Variable Home Loan 90

    • Principal and Interest
    • LVR <90%
    Interest rate
    6.04 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,011
    Go to site

    Affordable home loan rate for buyers or refinancers. No monthly or ongoing fees. Option to add an offset for 0.10%. Access to savings with unlimited redraws available. Minimum 10% deposit required.

  • Fixed Rate Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR <80%
    Interest rate
    6.09 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.15 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,027

    Additional repayments of up to $10K per fixed year. Interest rate discounts available. Waiver of $499 application fee when combined with an Orange Advantage Home Loan.

  • The Better Home Loan Special Offer

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<80%
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a variable rate home loan with a bunch of features from Police Credit Union. Make extra repayments at any time without penalty. No monthly, annual or upfront fees. Free online redraw. Minimum 20% deposit. Qualifying criteria applies. Minimum loan amount is 200K. For new customers only. Mozo Experts Choice Home Lender Credit Union of the Year 2023.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.16 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Enjoy a low rate home loan with $0 application fee and $0 ongoing fees. Flexibility to split your loan and set different repayment types. Fee free redraw from your loan using online banking. Flexible ways to repay. 40% Deposit required.

  • Mortgage Simplifier

    • LVR<80%
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.17 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043

    Get a competitive variable rate with ING’s Mortgage Simplifier. Free extra repayments, no monthly or annual fees. Freedom to make free extra repayments or redraws.

  • Offset Home Loan

    • Owner Occupier
    • LVR<60%
    • Principal & Interest
    Interest rate
    6.14 % p.a.
    Variable
    Comparison rate
    6.39 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,043
    Go to site

    Ability to open up to 10 offset accounts per loan account. Fast online application. Linked Debit Mastercard® with fee-free access at ATMs across Australia. Package a credit card with your home loan and the annual card fee will be waived (T&Cs apply). 40% deposit required.

  • Basic Home Loan

    • Fixed
    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • LVR<70%
    Interest rate
    6.25 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    6.20 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,079
    Go to site

    No upfront or ongoing fees. Free extra repayments and redraw facility. Option to earn Qantas points. Min 30% deposit required. Borrow up to $750,000.

  • Fixed Rate

    • Owner Occupier
    • Principal & Interest
    • <80% LVR
    Interest rate
    6.59 % p.a.
    Fixed 3 years
    Comparison rate
    7.06 % p.a.
    Initial monthly repayment
    $3,190

    Enjoy up to $3000 cashback for eligible first home buyers and $2000 cashback for refinancers on eligible home loans with the ANZ Fixed Rate Home Loan. Get the security of repayment certainty with a competitive locked in rate. No ongoing fees to pay. Offset account on 1-year fixed loans ($10/month fee applies). Interest-only payments allowed.

image of houses

Need help with refinancing?

You might have questions that need personal answers. We’ve teamed up with the mortgage brokers at Lendi to get you the answers you need, and a home loan deal you deserve.

Learn more